Author Topic: Birthday party etiquette  (Read 5864 times)

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WillyNilly

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #30 on: September 14, 2012, 01:35:49 PM »
As far as gift opening I think the kind of party it is makes a differnce. This isn't a child at a childrens party. This is an infant/toddler at a party full of adults and a few kids. Yes opening presents is done at the childrens party, but at the adult party, not so much. Plus really the birthday girl isn't old enough to unwrap well, to understand what's in boxes, to care about clothes, etc.

Moray

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #31 on: September 14, 2012, 02:05:54 PM »
Well, not allowing guests to see the birthday girl open her gifts is certainly a way to discourage them from ever giving gifts again. If this is your aim, do that. Otherwise I think people look forward to seeing the present opened and to take it and hide it away is not polite to the gift giver.

No, that's what thank you notes are for.

Especially with young children (or with parties where people were asked not to bring gifts and did so anyway), gift opening can pose a distraction and actually make things less pleasant for everyone involved. After all, the point of the occasion isn't gifts, it's celebrating [whatever event]. The gifts are just a bonus.
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TootsNYC

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #32 on: September 14, 2012, 03:25:13 PM »
Well, not allowing guests to see the birthday girl open her gifts is certainly a way to discourage them from ever giving gifts again. If this is your aim, do that. Otherwise I think people look forward to seeing the present opened and to take it and hide it away is not polite to the gift giver.

This is my opinion.  I suspend that is when the party is at a party place, bcs there's too much activity, and the party place has its own rules and agenda. And a party in which most people, or even a few of them, didn't bring gifts, of course skip it.

But I know my kids really CARED about seeing their friend open the present. And if you PLAN for it, you can absolutely control the chaos, etc.

And *I* care. And a thank-you note wouldn't be enough to make me less enthuiastic about giving a present next year.

sourwolf

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #33 on: September 14, 2012, 03:27:31 PM »
Well, not allowing guests to see the birthday girl open her gifts is certainly a way to discourage them from ever giving gifts again. If this is your aim, do that. Otherwise I think people look forward to seeing the present opened and to take it and hide it away is not polite to the gift giver.

This is my opinion.  I suspend that is when the party is at a party place, bcs there's too much activity, and the party place has its own rules and agenda. And a party in which most people, or even a few of them, didn't bring gifts, of course skip it.

But I know my kids really CARED about seeing their friend open the present. And if you PLAN for it, you can absolutely control the chaos, etc.

And *I* care. And a thank-you note wouldn't be enough to make me less enthuiastic about giving a present next year.

At a normal birthday party I can understand feeling that way even if I disagree with you.  However the OP has specifically requested no gifts.  I think it would be much ruder to open them in front of the guests who honored your wishes than to wait until later. Why make the people who listened to you feel bad?

Knitterly

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #34 on: September 15, 2012, 10:08:57 PM »
Thanks so much everyone for all the helpful advice.  The day was exhausting, but also hilarious and fun.

First, re. the goodie bags.  Pretty much everyone thought they were great, if a little cheesy.  "Dude, this is awesome!  I haven't had a goodie bag since I was 10!"
Second, re. the gifts.  Well... apparently it's useless to tell your friends not to spoil your kid with gifts.  Everyone brought one.  One friend who couldn't make it sent a gift with a mutual friend.  And cards have been arriving in the mail all week.  Since each gift was given with the request "I'd like to see her open it", we opted for a little gift opening moment.  I guess it's one of those things you play by ear rather than plan.
So that leads us to the last point, which are thank you cards.  I've opted for proper notes (ie, written by me).  I'm going to write them up tonight and then give LK a marker and a "thank you" stamp tomorrow so I can get them in the mail on Monday.  I figure she's old enough to use a little stamp, so she can stamp the word "thank you" and put a sticker and a scribble on the card.  Sure, she'll have no idea what she's doing, but that's okay.

Next week is the family party, which is going to be hugely overwhelming for my poor kid.  Alas, that one cannot be avoided (not without offending most folks on both sides).  Today was just fun. :)
« Last Edit: September 16, 2012, 08:47:23 AM by Knitterly »

Surianne

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Re: Birthday party etiquette
« Reply #35 on: September 16, 2012, 12:12:38 AM »
Glad to hear you had a fun, enjoyable party, Knitterly.  Happy birthday to your little one!